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Wholesale prices dip for 2nd month on cheap gas

| Friday, Nov. 22, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

Wholesale prices fell in October for the second straight month, driven down again by cheaper gasoline costs.

The Labor Department said Thursday that the producer price index, which measures prices before they reach the consumer, dropped 0.2 percent in October. That followed a 0.1 percent decline in September. The cost of gas plunged 3.8 percent last month, lowering the index.

Over the past 12 months, energy costs have kept inflation weak. Prices have increased just 0.3 percent in that stretch.

Excluding volatile energy and food prices, wholesale costs increased 0.2 percent in October and 1.4 percent in the past 12 months. The continued low level of inflation enables the Federal Reserve to maintain its unique stimulus measures.

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